Last week we held our Speedy Tuesday events in Singapore and Hong Kong. Together with Omega’s Petros Protopapas (Head of Brand Heritage) and former NASA engineer James H. Ragan, we travelled to these two great places to host the Speedy Tuesday events.
I already briefly gave a summary on the trip itself in yesterday’s Fratello on Air podcast (episode 2), but here’s the photo report of the events itself. Let me start by saying that it was inspiring to be in Singapore and Hong Kong. I’ve been to Singapore before when I was still in banking, and I was happy to be back. However, on the contrary to my previous visits, I had only a little time to explore the city. The Speedy Tuesday event itself was held in The Luxe Museum, and there were about 65 guests. Besides our readers, Omega Singapore asked The Hour Glass (a large retailer with 14 boutiques in Singapore) to invite some of their clients as well. From Fratello, it was only Gerard and me. Gerard took care of the images and video (we will publish a video later, as we need some more time to process and edit) and I was on stage for a short talk about Speedy Tuesday and moderated the panel talks with Petros Protopapas and James H. Ragan.
With only a few hours to spend, we could only take a few images of the city itself. We landed in Singapore on Monday in the late afternoon and immediately went to Crystal Jade Dining IN near Sentosa, to have dinner with the local Omega Singapore staff and James Ragan. Afterwards, we drove by the beautiful Marina Bay Sands hotel and Super Tree Grove. Stunning, but unfortunately no time for pictures or video. Next day, we made sure to get some rest before the event would start in the afternoon. A short walk on Orchard Road and we did a few boutique visits before we needed to pack our gear and leave to The Luxe Museum.
The number of watches you come across in the flesh in Singapore is quite impressive. Where you will see the occasional Omega, Breitling, IWC or Rolex here in The Netherlands, the first guy I almost bumped into on the street was wearing a Roger Dubuis Tourbillon. Singapore is a good place for watches (and watch brands). What also struck me, during the event, was the number of Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday Ultraman watches that people were wearing. I know that a lot of them were sold to fans in Singapore, but I didn’t expect to see so many of them at the event. Apparently, and many guests told me this, a lot of these guys grew up watching Ultraman on television. So for many of them, it is nostalgia combined with the perfect watch. Gerard and I received the same question though, why we chose the Ultraman for the Speedy Tuesday II watch. For us, Ultraman is something linked to the Speedmaster 145.012-67, and we were (and still are) just amazed by the simple but beautiful add-on of the orange second hand. We only got familiar with the series because of these watches, as it was never aired here on Dutch television. Also, let’s not underestimate the role of Petros Protopapas, who had an essential part in this Speedy Tuesday Ultraman watch as well. He opened the discussion with the owners of the Ultraman brand, so this could be used for the Speedmaster.
Without further ado, here are some of the images we took of the Singapore Speedy Tuesday event.
During the welcome drink and bite, there was the possibility to look at the historical watches that Omega brought with them to Singapore. A lot of people already knew each other, and they frankly told me that Singapore has a lively watch collecting scene. It was great, though, to see so many Speedmaster collectors together. And not only did they come from Singapore, as one of the guests was Ashley from Australia. He is one of the owners of the popular omegaforums.net platform, where I try to participate in as well when time permits. He already published his write-up on the Singapore Speedy Tuesday event, in this forum thread.
After the drinks, the brand manager of Omega Singapore welcomed all guests and introduced Petros Protopapas and myself. Petros Protopapas took the opportunity to welcome everyone on behalf of Omega HQ and asked me to come on stage. I took the liberty to tell about Speedy Tuesday and how it all started, but also how to express my gratitude for everyone being so committed and enthusiastic about the Speedmaster and the community. Next up was James H. Ragan, who spoke about his work at NASA in the 1960s, where he was responsible for the astronaut’s watches and cameras. What followed was a panel talk with Protopapas, Ragan and myself, about the Speedmaster in history, the NASA selection procedures and Ragan’s favourite moments in space history. He elaborated on the Apollo XI of course, but also talked about Apollo 13. He shared the fact that it was Lovell’s Speedmaster watch that was used to do the 14-second recording of the rocket burn when they headed to Earth. Also, he spoke about the selection procedures for the qualification for the Space Shuttle mission, where the Speedmaster won the tender once again (now known as the Alaska III project by Omega).
After the panel discussion, the guests were up next to ask questions to Protopapas and Ragan. As we shot a video of this panel talk, we will be publishing this at a later stage on our magazine and our YouTube channel.
After the panel discussion, Petros gave a presentation on the new Speedmaster Apollo XI watches and talked about the new caliber 321 movement. These introductions were actually the same as the ones given in Milan and Frankfurt recently. This was followed by the touch & feel sessions that Omega organised, meaning that the guests received an introduction to the actual watches (and movement) by the Omega Singapore staff.
After the product presentation and touch & feel sessions, there was time for a drink and to take some pictures. We ended the event with a beautiful dinner at the same venue. We had a great time talking to the guests; we also had to sign boxes, papers and straps (we felt a bit like rock stars) and enjoyed the excellent dinner. A huge THANK YOU to Omega Singapore for organising this together with the team of Omega HQ. Also, we would like to thank The Hour Glass for being there as well with their guests. It was a great experience, and we are working hard to get the video online soon as well.
As always, we like to put some wrist shots of our guests in these reports. Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed this impression of the Singapore Speedy Tuesday event and hope to see you during our New York and Tokyo Speedy Tuesday events later this year. We will soon open registration.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more